Commitment to Staff Development - Bents Garden & Home

At Bents Garden & Home in Cheshire, there is commitment to the training and development of colleagues with long-term initiatives such as Bents Academy and the Sunflowers Training Scheme (now the Bents Exceptional programme) providing support, guidance and training to every staff member.

In 2011, Bents launched a new company vision: "We aspire to be the best in everything we do," alongside which it had a new colleague initiative: "Bents: The Future."

Bents: The Future is designed to help all colleagues understand and relate to the business and their roles and, consequently, their ambitions.

Established in 1937, Bents is a family-run business and every colleague is a valued part of that family and part of its foundation for the future.

As part of that initiative, Bents launched "The Bents Ways". At presentation events, each staff member was presented with a commitment card outlining The Bents Ways.

People are at the heart of the business. Colleagues are Bents' key strength and point of difference, so the company does the utmost to help them succeed.

World-class service: Bents wants its customers to love coming into the centre so much that it becomes their favourite destination store.

The wow factor: Bents wants to always surprise and delight its customers and colleagues, which in turn will energise creativity and inspire ideas.

Continually reinvesting in the future. Developing its people and reinvesting in its business will lead to future success

Bents' reputation is its guarantee. It is passionate, enthusiastic and straight-talking with customers, suppliers and each other, and has a canand will-do attitude.

The Bents Academy provides company training and individual learning plans.

Bents' "Being Bents Exceptional" and "Exceptional Service" training programmes have replaced the Sunflowers Training Scheme. "Exceptional Results" is being developed with a focus on sales. Bents also offers staff courses such as first aid and NVQs.

It provides a benefits package offering additional holidays for those with three years or more service, birthday days off and vouchers, and the Bents pension scheme, which matches contributions to a maximum of five per cent of gross earnings after three years.

Staff with three or more years' service receive annual £50 restaurant vouchers. They also get a percentage discount depending on length of service and have the chance to take six weeks unpaid "Benidorm" leave.

Bents 10 Plus Loyalty Club offers staff with 10 or more years' service club membership with a thank you dinner and gift.

- Judge's comment

"Shows great commitment to having happy staff" - Val Bradley

Finalists
Brechin Castle Garden Centre
Garden & Leisure Group

The HTA is the trade association for the UK garden industry and is dedicated to helping develop the industry and its member businesses. It offers a comprehensive training service to maximise the potential of all staff within member businesses, supporting members to survive, adapt and grow.


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